Troy “T-Bone” Midboe – Head Coach
My rugby career as a player spanned nearly 15 years. I grew up playing football and was introduced to
rugby when I was a freshman in college. During my playing career I played with Carleton College,
OMBAC (San Diego), the St. Paul Pigs, and a few select side teams. Eventually 20+ plus years of football
and rugby made me realign my focus from playing to coaching. Prior to coaching rugby, I had been a
college football coach, a high school varsity football head coach, and a track and field head coach. When I
was no longer able to provide meaningful minutes on the field I began assisting the previous Pigs
coaching staff as a forwards coach, then eventually becoming the head coach.
Today, I am fortunate to have several assistant coaches that help player development. Stephan
GrandPre, our forwards coach, has great high school, college, and men’s rugby experience. Paul Fannin,
our backs coach, brings a fresh prospective to game play as he was recently forced to retire early from
his starting center position. Recently joining the coaching staff is Ben Hanson. Ben provides fitness and
training support to our players. Our coaching staff is rounded out by our strategic coordinator, Roger
Bruggemeyer. Roger is also the head coach of the WPL Twin Cities Amazons; with more than 30 years of
coaching experience, Roger brings a unique insight into game play. Below you’ll find some more
information on each of our assistant coaches.
All of us have one goal: make every one that puts on the Red and Black will have an opportunity to
maximize his potential. This could range from learning the basics of the game to taking your already
honed abilities to the next level. I’m looking forward to leading you onto the pitch as your head coach.
Stephan “Animal” GrandPre – Forwards Coach
Stephan began playing rugby in 2001 and has been with the Pigs since 2007. He spent most of his
playing career at second row before moving to prop. His dedication to the St. Paul Rugby Club went
beyond game play as he spent 5 years as the social chairman. He helped coach the Brooklyn Brumbies
High School Boys team for two seasons and has assisted with coaching the Jazz Pig forwards for 2 years.
In addition to playing and coaching rugby, he brings with him over ten years of classroom teaching
Paul “Sally” Fanin
Paul started playing rugby at UW River Falls in 2005. He played there for two years and then started
with the Pigs in 2011 and been a part of the club ever since. He has played a number of positions in the
backline (Wing, Inside Center, Outside Center) and held various office and board positions.
Unfortunately, Paul had to stop playing in the spring of 2016 due to head injuries. Although Paul’s
career was stopped short, he continued to attend practice whenever possible to help improve the
backline. Being the youngest member of the coaching staff, Paul is eager to learn more from his former
and current coaches and looks forward to increasing his involvement with the team again through
Ben “Kramer” Hanson – Fitness Coach
Ben started playing rugby in 1996 as one of the founding members of the UW River Falls club and played
for the Pigs from 2000-2012. He retired from rugby in 2012, and has had a hard time staying off the
pitch. You can still find him lacing up his boots from time to time. In addition to playing rugby, Ben has
been competing in strongman competitions since 2004 and has over 60 contests to his name. In his
years as a competitive strongman, he’s competed with and trained alongside some of the strongest men
on the planet, including multiple World's Strongest Man competitors. Ben’s decades of experience on
the pitch have given him a full understanding of the fitness demands of the game and his experience of
flipping giant tires and pulling fire trucks has equipped him with a unique perspective of how to combine
both fitness and strength training and how to apply them on the pitch.
Coach’s Contact Info:
Club President: Jeff Zweber